Without doubt, if you aspire to a senior or influential position in any organisation, you will need to open your eyes and see the social structures within it. This exercise will help you to apply your learning to the setting where you wish to be successful. It assumes that you have already read other articles, such as Navigating Informal Group Dynamics and Power and Informal Groups (see below).
As with most exercises, it helps if you can get together and discuss this with one or more colleagues.
What informal groups exist around your work/role?
- Social Groups (e.g. lunch or parties).
- Career/Experience Groups (e.g. previous company, boss).
- Special Interest (e.g. sport, music).
- Work Groups (e.g. outsourcers, Six Sigma).
Which have (or could have) the biggest impact on your work?
Thinking of the most important group to you:
- What is the common feature?
- Who are the key members?What stage of development has the group reached?
- What is its agenda/purpose?
- Which members have the most influence on the group? Why?
- If you are not a member, how might you benefit from joining?What would you need to do to join?
- If you are a member, what can you do to move it forward, drive the agenda or mobilise action?